Naomi Kawase’s ‘True Mothers’ Acquired by Film Movement for U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

Film Movement has taken U.S. rights to Naomi Kawase’s “True Mothers” which is Japan’s entry for the international feature film race at the Oscars.

The affecting family drama was part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection and went on to play at Toronto, San Sebastian and Chicago film festivals. “True Mothers” will have a theatrical rollout in 2021, followed by release on all home entertainment and digital platforms.

Penned by Kawase and based on Mizuki Tsujimura’s bestselling novel of the same name, “True Mothers” tells the story of a young couple, Satoko and her husband Kiyokazu, who after a long and painful experience with fertility treatment decide to adopt a child. Six years later, they get a threatening phone call from a woman pretending to be the biological mother of the child and threatening to extort money from them.

“We’re thrilled to acquire Naomi’s latest masterwork, a thoughtful drama that morphs and veers into a darker arena,” said Michael Rosenberg, president of Film Movement, who made the deal with Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, partner at the Paris-based company Playtime.

“After becoming the youngest Camera d’or winner for her first feature, ‘Suzuku,’ [Kawase has] carved out a place as one of Japan’s most prolific and well-regarded filmmakers and we’re excited to share ‘True Mothers’ with U.S. audiences in the coming year,” said Rosenberg.

The movie is produced by Yumiko Takebe, president of Kino Films, who produced Kawase’s “Radiance,” which competed at Cannes in 2017.

Although Kawase is one of the rare Asian female directors with international recognition, “True Mothers” will mark the first time she’s had a film selected to represent Japan in the Oscar race

Film Movement’s recent acquisitions also include “My Little Sister,” Switzerland’s Official Oscar submission from filmmakers Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond; and 2020 Sundance Grand Jury prize-winning “Yalda, a Night For Forgiveness.”

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